Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oh, October, How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways...

First, the month starts with a birthday for a terrific lady. My Mom. This year it was a milestone birthday. Let me just say this. If I am lucky enough to look and act that young at her age, I will consider myself blessed. She is an awesome example of how to live your life with grace, intelligence, strength, beauty and humor.

Next, I just love the cooler temperatures. The red, orange and yellow leaves. The way the air smells. I love the noise that the leaves make when you walk through them. Swish. Swish. Swish.

How about hayrides? And squash bowling. Hot apple cider. Chili and soups. Yum.

And there's Halloween. I love to carve a pumpkin. Roasting the pumpkin seeds with a dash of salt. Ghosts, goblins, super heroes and storybook characters ringing my doorbell. Orange pumpkin lights.

And one more reason to love October. The 31st to be exact. It is our wedding anniversary. Twenty years. We made it. I say that with a smile on my face. Twenty years with my man. My best friend. He has shown me devotion and love I never thought possible. He has shown me that he is incredibly strong. And yet not afraid to admit to feeling weak. He has helped make me a better person. And I hope I have done the same for him. True partners in life.

This is why I love October.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Creature Comforts

I like to keep life simple. What is most important can't be bottled or bagged or put on a shelf. I just wanted to get that out of my system. There are a few things that I would call important or necessary to my every day style of living. Perhaps more accurately described as things that are creature comforts.

A piece of fruit and two cups of coffee in the morning. Absolutely a must have. These things jump start my day. Blue jeans. My clothing item of choice. I've tried other pants, skirts, dresses. By far, jeans are where it's at. I can wear them year around. They are comfortable, durable and can be dressed up or down.

Lotion and lip balm. Pretty much all I need. I can't stand feeling itchy. A ponytail band. If I'm not wearing one, there's one in my pocket. Guaranteed. My cell phone. That's in my pocket for sure. I am able to stay in touch with those who can't be bottled, bagged or put on a shelf.

What made me think of these creature comforts was a documentary I watched last week. It was a story of fighting for what is right. For what is ours. For what is important to our generation and generations to come. And how fighting this valiant fight caused a family lose everything. Except each other. It got me to thinking. What could I live without? What was important to my every day existence? And the list started with those that can't be bottled, bagged or shelved. But what do I find comfort in each and every day? I sort of surprised myself by coming up with a short list. These things could easily be thrown in a backpack. Or these items could be thrown away. They really mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.

I would like to believe that I would fight valiantly for important rights and for the people I love. In some ways I already have. That being said, a couple of cups of coffee can fuel the warrior in all of us.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Date Night

Yep. I'm dating again. Simmer down now. We're dating each other. Scott and Ann. This time is different though. No pressure. No wondering what would be the least messy thing to eat when we go out for dinner. No having a plan to get out of the date if it doesn't go well. Who would do that, right? Ok. I did that.

Scott and I were set up on a blind date. I was nervous for sure. At the time I worked at a place that required me to carry a pager. So I had this all planned out. At 9:00 my sister would page me. If the date wasn't going well, I would say I needed to leave and address an emergency. If the date was going well, I would say good, my sister would hang up the phone, and I would let the people that I was with know that I had handled the work situation over the phone. Pretty tricky, huh?

As you have probably figured out I didn't have to leave for an emergency that night almost 21 years ago. And I certainly didn't need to fake a page over the weekend. We dated in a comfortable and not taking advantage of each other kind of way. We dated in a grateful manner. We took turns talking and listening. We enjoyed conversation. Our dates were relaxed and fun. Just as they should be.

Tomorrow Gracie gets a date. She'll be picked up from school and they are going out for ice cream. I'm not jealous. I'm happy for both of them. I will say this, though. We are incredibly lucky ladies. Life is good again.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Today Is Right Here

Yesterday, as I drove away from a visit with Scott, I had the most peaceful feeling. This was our last visit away. The next time I see him he will be back in Madison. I thought I might have feelings of sadness. Because we had been through so much in the last forty some days. I thought I might feel anxious and nervous. Or maybe like I couldn't wait. In a good way. Instead I felt a calm. A real feeling that this is the way it should be.

We had a rough start to this process of getting well. For Scott it was rough medically, physically and emotionally. For me it was mostly an emotional struggle. With the expert and human guidance of professionals we were able to cut away the fat, so to speak, and get to the meat of the issues causing our family to be out of balance. The most important piece was that we needed to work separately to come back together. Stronger than before.

And it worked. Not for everyone going through this process. But for us it did. And there was a lot of work involved in this process. There still will be. This is a lifetime journey. We will need to maintain. We will need to take care of ourselves before we can work as a team. Always. Forever.

So yesterday, I lived in the day. The moment that I thought I might be crying, instead I was smiling. The drive away through the grove of trees was exhilarating. I know that I can't live in yesterday. I don't have to be filled with a need to always make things right. I also know the danger in living too far out in the future. This is when we get overconfident and forget about the here and now.

I will fully live today. I know that by doing this I won't miss the beautiful, sad, funny, miracle moments that are supposed to be part of who I am. I will enjoy today because it is where I am at the moment. Just as Scott is living one day at a time, so am I. And together we will continue loving each other. Today. Right here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

We Shopped, We Ate And We Slept

Yesterday was a day like many others. I went to work and Gracie went to school. It was what went down after we got home that was not your every day norm. My sister, Amy, is visiting. That could have something to do with it. And the fact that Gracie just celebrated her 13th birthday had a bit to do with it, too. Lots of gift cards were burning a hold in her pocket. I get that.

To the mall we went. For those of you that know me, this is difficult for me. I do this only a couple of times a year. If that. I went through the normal speech. We won't be here long. We have things to do at home. The dogs need us. You have homework. I need to write Christmas cards. Ok, maybe not the cards.

We entered the mall with a plan and a limit of time. To Aeropostale she went. Amy and I went across the aisle to Bath and Body Works. Before we entered the store I ran into a former student. Big hug. She's doing great she told me. We caught up quickly and said good bye. Then I was lured into the store by the yummy smells. We resisted mostly. But we gave in when it came to marshmallow and cinnamon lip balms.

We rejoined Gracie and after paying, left the store with new comfy sweat pants. Yep. Sucked in again. Off to Pink. I'm not getting a thing is what I said to myself. Then many underthings later we left that part of the building. And on to Dick's. Gracie was great. She really was moving along. This trip to the mall was not as painful as I thought it might be.

We were famished when we got home. Pizza was on the menu. The sweats, yes, the new ones, were being enjoyed by all. And then the sleepiness overtook us. I forgot to mention that I didn't sleep well the night before. Why? Because my fan died. I need a fan to sleep. And sleep is what I did last night. New fan, new woman today. Slept like a baby.

The day and night were enjoyed. We were busy ladies. Just doing girl stuff. Everyone needs to have fun like this every once in a while. Especially when you've just turned 13.